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Subdivision involves dividing a property into smaller lots that can be sold separately. It can also include the realignment or alterations to title boundaries even if the number of lots do not change.

Whether you are applying for a subdivision permit or considering subdividing your land, you will need to consider the following.

Can I subdivide?

Before making an application to subdivide, you should ensure that the possibility of subdivision is permissible (this will generally be dictated by your land’s zoning provisions in the Moorabool Planning Scheme). You should confirm permit and information requirements with officers of the Moorabool Planning Department before preparing an application for subdivision.

The Subdivision Process

There are four main stages in the subdivision process:

  1. Planning Permit. Apply for and obtain a Planning Permit for the subdivision.
  2. Certification. Engage a licenced Land Surveyor to prepare and lodge with Council an application for Certification  in accordance with the Subdivision Act 1988 and the approved Planning Permit.
  3. Statement of Compliance. Complete the requirements of the permit, including those of the referral authorities, to allow the issue of Statement of Compliance for the plan of subdivision under the Subdivision Act 1988. This is issued after all requirements have been met.
  4. Title Registration. Your Land Surveyor will lodge the Certified plan of subdivision, Statement of Compliance and any other plans or documents with Land Victoria. This allows new titles to be issued for each lot created. Council does not lodge the plan at Land Victoria. Your solicitor or conveyancer will usually deal with this stage.

What does certifying a plan of subdivision mean?

The certification process requires a plan of subdivision prepared by a licensed land surveyor to be lodged at Council with a Form 1 certification application under the Subdivision Act 1988. The plan shows the proposed lots, size, area and any easements required. The certification application is referred by Council to any relevant referral and servicing authorities (which may include the Deaprtment of Transport, water authorities, Powercor, gas providers, Country Fire Authority, and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning). These authorities have 35 days in which to respond to the referral. Your plans cannot be certified by Council until a planning permit has been issued for the subdivision and pre-certification requirements are met, such as registration of a Section 173 Agreement.  However, the two processes can run concurrently.

What does Statement of Compliance mean?

A Statement of Compliance issued by Council is required to be lodged at Land Victoria by the Land Surveyor to allow separate titles to be created for each of the lots on the certified plan. In order to obtain a Statement of Compliance, each of the referral authorities must advise Council in writing that all of their conditions have been met to their satisfaction. There may be other conditions included on your planning permit that must be met before a Statement of Compliance can be issued.

What happens once a Statement of Compliance has been issued?

Once your Statement of Compliance has been issued, you (or your surveyor or solicitor) will need to lodge it at Land Victoria along with the certified plan and other documents which your surveyor will provide. Land Victoria will then create individual titles for the lots in your subdivision.

What is a Section 173 Agreement?

A Section 173 Agreement is a legal agreement made between Council and another party or parties, under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. The landowner is the other party to the Agreement, while in some cases a third party, such as a referral authority may also be involved. An agreement provides additional planning controls where a condition on a permit or Planning Scheme controls is insufficient.

The obligations and requirements of a Section 173 Agreement are recorded on the new property titles after subdivision. Therefore, the new landowners of these properties should be aware of the requirements and obligations placed on them by the Section 173 Agreement.

If a planning permit requires you to enter into a Section 173 Agreement (which are usually prepared by a solicitor), all costs through to the registration of the agreement are to be met by the applicant.

Preparing your documentation for subdivision

An application for a planning permit must be made on the appropriate form, together with a plan of your proposed subdivision. If only applying for a planning permit, less formal plans are required, however you will need to contact a licensed Land Surveyor to provide the necessary forms and draw up plans for certification. A checklist is below outlining the information required to make an application to subdivide land or existing buildings. A well prepared submission will assist Council in processing applications as quickly as possible.

Subdivision before development (for urban land)

For all land in residential zones, while it is possible to apply to subdivide your land before obtaining approval to develop your land, it is Council’s preference that approval for a development is obtained before applying to subdivide your land. This will enable all development matters to be considered in the planning process. Some exceptions may apply to larger subdivisions (ie. more than 10 lots) on residential zoned land.

Subdivision in rural areas

For all land contained within rural zones, subdivision may not be permissible if each proposed lot cannot meet the minimum lot size within the applicable schedule of the zone. Contact the Planning Department for information about minimum lot sizes that might apply on your land.

Development plans

Land within the Shire that is covered by a Development Plan Overlay in the Moorabool Planning Scheme has an approved ‘development plan’ which sets out broad strategies, layouts, and subdivision requirements.  Subdivisions proposed within these locations should be planned in accordance with the approved development plan.

Public open space contributions

When proposing to subdivide land into three or more lots, assessment is made for a contribution to Council for the upgrade and/or purchase of land for open space such as public parks, playgrounds and reserves. Please note, this also applies to two-lot subdivisions where the lots could potentially be further subdivided. Under Section 18 of the of the Subdivision Act 1988, you may be required to pay to Council a percentage of the site value not exceeding 5%, or set aside up to 5% of the land on the plan of subdivision for public open space, or a combination of both.

Other approvals

Applicants will need to satisfy the requirements of Council’s Infrastructure Department (for roads, vehicle crossings and drainage), the building regulations, Environmental Health requirements (for septic tanks and effluent disposal where relevant) and local laws (where relevant), as well as the requirements of relevant referral authorities for the servicing of the land.

Checklist for planning assessment

The following information (as a minimum) must accompany any planning permit application for the subdivision of land.

  • Completed application form (form available at Shire offices or on Council’s website).
  • Appropriate application fee (schedule of fees available at Shire offices or on Council’s website).
  • Full copy of property title, searched from Land Victoria within the last 3 months, along with copies of any restrictions, covenants or agreements.
  • A scaled and fully dimensioned Existing Conditions Plan, showing (as a minimum):
    • the location of all existing buildings, structures and vegetation
    • internal building layout for existing buildings and structures
    • the location and layout of driveways and car parking areas
    • contours/site levels
    • the location of effluent disposal system (for non-sewered properties)
  • A scaled and fully dimensioned Site Plan, showing (where relevant):
    • the location of existing buildings on adjacent properties (including nominated setbacks from the common boundaries to the subject site)
    • the location of existing and proposed buildings (including nominated setbacks from boundaries and other key site features)
    • any existing or proposed earthworks
    • location of existing individual trees within 10 metres of all proposed buildings, structures and excavations
    • all trees to be removed and those to be retained
    • the setback of the buildings and works from title boundaries
    • details and location of any car parking structures, areas and accessways
  • A proposed Plan of Subdivision drawn to scale showing:
    • the proposed configuration of the lots, including any common property
    • any existing or proposed easements
    • dimensions of boundaries
    • lot sizes
    • adjoining roads
  • A written report including information on:
    • the number of lots
    • the lot sizes
    • access details for each of the lots
    • type of roads
    • the existence of stormwater drainage infrastructure
    • the services to be provided and
    • other details (as relevant)
  • For applications relating to residential subdivision the following must be provided:
    • a Subdivision Site and Context Plan, as required by Clause 56.01-1 of the Moorabool Planning Scheme (ResCode),
    • a Subdivision Design Response, as required by Clause 56.01-2 of the Moorabool Planning Scheme (ResCode)
    • A written submission detailing how the proposal responds to the provisions of the relevant zone, overlays, particular provisions and State and local planning policies (as appropriate)

For applications where native vegetation would be impacted:

Where there are existing trees on the subject site or trees on adjoining properties proximite to future buildings within the subdivision, a report from a qualified arborist (an Arborist Report) must be obtained and submitted. This report should provide the following details:

  • The species, height, girth, canopy width and approximate age of the tree(s) to be removed.
  • A statement regarding the health, structure and vigour of the tree(s).
  • Comments in relation to the future health of the tree.
  • A recommendation in support of removal, retention or alternative actions based on all of the above.

This advice is to be used as a general guide only. Council has made all reasonable effort to ensure the information is true and accurate. However, it is recommended that readers seek professional advice before acting or making decisions on the basis of this information. For any questions or clarification, please contact Council’s Planning Department.

Last Updated:

Thursday, 9 June, 2016 - 18:22